Loeschner Lecture on Leadership Launches with Teach for America Founder

Loeschner Lecture on Leadership Launches with Teach for America Founder

Wendy Kopp and Ray Loeschner

The Ray and Nancy Loeschner Lecture on Leadership series kicked off with Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp discussing her efforts to improve educational equality on April 17. Kopp was selected to launch the lecture series because of her leadership and vision in addressing inequities in education.

The Loeschner Lecture on Leadership has the goal of inspiring students to become leaders in their chosen fields of endeavor. The lecture series was established with a gift from SESP alumnus Ray Loeschner (MA57) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the former president of Olivet University and leader in higher education who also received his PhD from Northwestern in 1962.

Loeschner seeks to inspire students throughout the Northwestern community to higher levels of leadership. “Developing leadership in all walks of life is what Northwestern does best,” he says. 

The lecture series grew out of a desire by Loeschner and his late wife to leave a lasting legacy at Northwestern in recognition of the opportunities the University provided him to grow his knowledge and skills. Speakers are selected for possessing qualities of integrity, imagination and vision and demonstrating outstanding character and leadership in their professional and community lives.

The School of Education and Social Policy is sponsoring Kopp’s lecture as part of the Contemporary Thought lecture series at Northwestern University to provide broad outreach to the campus community. 

Kopp founded Teach for America in 1990 to recruit a teacher corps of university graduates for underserved urban and rural public schools. Today she is CEO and co-founder of Teach for All, a global network of nonprofit organizations that extends the Teach for America model in other countries. She remains chair of the board of Teach for America.

When she was an undergraduate student at Princeton University, she got the idea for enlisting top college graduates to teach at K-12 schools in impoverished areas, and she presented the idea for Teach for America in her senior thesis.

Kopp is an especially appropriate choice for Northwestern students because of the University’s track record with Teach for America. Northwestern was the top contributor of Teach for America teachers among medium-sized schools in 2012. Sixty-three members of the Class of 2012 joined the Teach for America corps, and throughout the organization’s history 479 Northwestern alumni have taught as corps members.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 3/4/14